19th Aug 1916. The Fatal Flying Accident.

THE FATAL FLYING ACCIDENT.

The inquest on Lieut Geo S Rogers and Second-Lieut Cyril de Frece, of the R.F.C, who were killed by the collision of two aeroplanes on Thursday in last week, was opened on Saturday by Mr E F Hadow. Mr J Lord was chosen foreman of the jury.

Alfred de Frece, solicitor, 155 Abbey Road, West Hampstead, and 2 Devonshire Square, identified his son’s body, and said he was 18 years of age. He had been associated with the Royal Flying Corps a little over two months ; previous to that he was in the Middlesex Yeomanry. He was a strong lad, with full possession of his sight and hearing.

Capt McEwen, R.F.C, identified the body of Lieut Rogers, who was 23 years of age. He was a Canadian, and belonged to the Canadian Expeditionary Force. His family resided at Barrie, Ontario. He had been attached to the corps for some time, and was a fully qualified pilot, and had full possession of his sight and hearing.

Dr William Chester Collins, attached to the R.F.C, said he saw the bodies a few minutes after the accident. Life was quite extinct in both cases. The bodies had been removed from under the wrecked aeroplane when he saw them. He accompanied and superintended their removal to the mortuary. He had that morning examined the bodies, and found that both officers had sustained fracture of the skull and dislocation of the vertebrae, either of which, apart from their other injuries, would be sufficient to cause instant death.

The Coroner explained that no other evidence was available at that date, and the inquest would be adjourned till Wednesday, August 23rd.

The Foreman, on behalf of the jury, expressed their sympathy with the relatives, in which the Coroner concurred.—Mr de Frece briefly acknowledged this.

Second-Lieut Cyril de Frece was the only son of Mr Alfred de Frece, a London solicitor. He was educated at the Haberdashers’ School, Taplow Grammar School, and in Brussels. His intention was to become an electrical engineer. He also studied under Professor Thompson at the City and Guilds School, London. He joined the Army in October, 1915, and was appointed to the R.F.C and given a commission in the first week in June.

Lieut Rogers, the pilot, was a remarkably skilful aviator.

MEMORIAL SERVICE FOR LIEUT ROGERS.

The funeral of Lieut G S Rogers was arranged for Saturday, but on Friday evening a cablegram was received from his relatives, asking that he might be buried in Canada. The arrangements for the funeral were accordingly cancelled, and a memorial service was held instead. The members of the squadron to which the unfortunate officers were attached marched to the church, headed by the B.T.H Band, which played martial airs on the way to and from the service. The small village church was crowded to its fullest capacity, this being the first service of the kind ever held in the parish. The service, which was very brief, was conducted by the Vicar, and opened with the hymn, “ Peace, perfect peace,” the singing of which was led by the band. A short and sympathetic address was given by the Vicar. The “ Dead March ” from Saul and the sounding of the “ Last Post ” proved a fitting termination to an impressive service.

A number of beautiful floral tributes were sent by the officers of the Squadron, the men of the, Squadron, Capt McEwen, Mrs Balding and Vandy, a model floral aeroplane by the Staff of the Officers’ Mess, Mr and Mrs Richardson, and Mr Hayter ; and these were placed on a large Union Jack in front of the altar during the service.

The coffin containing the remains of Lieut Rogers was put on the train on route for Liverpool on Wednesday evening. A number of deceased’s colleagues were present, and as the train steamed out of the station the “ Last Post ” was sounded.

The funeral of Lieut de Frece took place at the Liberal Jewish Cemetery, Willesden, on Monday.

LOCAL WAR NOTES,

Mr W College, of 48 Church Street, Rugby, has this week received a postcard from his son, Pte W F College—who was reported missing—stating that he is now a prisoner in Germany.

From further information to hand it appears that Pte Sidney H Dicken, of the 14th Gloucester Battalion, son of Mr and Mrs W Dicken, of 131 Claremont Road, died from laceration of the abdomen, and that the officer of the regiment was killed outright by the same shell.

Mrs S Reynolds, of 26 West Leyes, received official notification that her son, Pte Arthur Reynolds, of the Royal Warwickshires, had been posted, as missing after the engagement on July 19th. She has since received a postcard from him to say he is a prisoner at Gefanenlager, Dulmen Camp, Germany. He enlisted on July 22, 1915, and went abroad to May 22, 1916.

MR FRED STAINES IN EGYPT.

Pte Fred Staines, of the Midland Battalion of the Rifle Brigade, 2nd officer of the Rugby Fire Brigade, has for some time past been ill in hospital in Egypt. From a letter, dictated by him, and received by relatives, it appears he has been down with typhoid fever, but he speaks very cheerfully of the satisfactory progress he is making, adding that he is in good hands, and that his friends have no need to worry about him.

AN OFFICER’S APPRECIATION OF PTE R ALAND.

Mr W Aland, of 30 Arnold Street, whose son, Pte Roy Aland, of the Royal Warwicks, has been badly wounded in France, has received a letter from Lieut Hubbard, attached to that regiment, in which he says :—“ Your boy was my orderly, and I always found him cool, collected, and resourceful. He was much liked and sought after by his comrades, and his loss has been keenly felt by us all. At the time he was wounded I was just posting the company along some trenches we had just taken over, and he was just behind me. A very severe bombardment was going on, and when the shell pitched the trench was instantly filled with smoke. It was difficult to see anything owing to the darkness ; but young Aland was master of himself, although so badly wounded. A stretcher was brought in about five minutes, and when he was placed on it and the bearers were about to lift he called out : ‘ Mr Hubbard, just a minute. Down the trench about five yards, in a bunk hole on the right, you will find a bag ; it’s your grub bag. I put it there for safety.’ I recite this incident to show the pluck and unselfishness and thought for others, which was truly admirable, coming from a man who was so badly wounded as your poor boy was. You have every reason to be proud of him. He was a splendid soldier, and in him we have suffered the loss of a good comrade. . . . Will you please remember me to him. I know he will put up a plucky fight, and do his best to carry out his watchword, ‘ Keep smiling.’

LOCAL CASUALTIES.

Second-Lieut N Edyean-Walker (Royal Fusiliers), nephew of Mr C H Fuller, solicitor, Rugby, and to whom he is articled, has been wounded in France, and is now in hospital in London.

News has been received that Pte James Pitham, of the Royal Warwicks, has been wounded in the thigh by shrapnel. He is a native of Rugby, and as a youth worked at the Rugby Lamp Factory, but joined the Army from Bedworth. Pte Pitham has two brothers serving with the colours.

PTE G H WRIGHT, of WILLEY.

News has been received that Pte G H Wright, R.W.R, of Church Gate, Willey, died in hospital from wounds on August 11th. Prior to his enlistment, Pte Wright was employed in the Winding Department at the B.T.H.

RUGBY BRICKLAYER KILLED.

Pte J Shaw, of the Royal Warwicks, is reported to have been killed by the bursting of a shell on August 1st. He had only been at the front a fortnight. He was a bricklayer, whose home was at Dunchurch, and worked for Mr Cobley, of Rugby.

Deceased was buried behind the lines by the Army Chaplain. In a letter to Mrs Shaw, who is left with two little children, the O.C the Company says :- “ Although your husband had been with us fora short time only, he had shown a soldierly spirit, and his loss will be felt in the Company.”

SERGT J W MILNER LOSES A LEG.

The many friends of Sergt J W Milner, R.W.R, son of Mrs Milner, of 7 Bath Street, will regret to hear that he has been seriously wounded. His right knee was smashed, and the limb has since been amputated. Sergt Milner, who was a member of “ E ” Company, and was employed in the Accounts Office at the B.T.H before mobilisation, is still in a French hospital, and is doing well.

SERGT HAROLD LEE, of DUNSMORE.

Sergt Harold Lee, R.W.R, who, as we reported last week, was seriously wounded on July 23rd, died in the Canadian Hospital, France, on August 6th, in the presence of his parents. Sergt Lee, who was 26 years of age, enlisted at the beginning of the War, and had been in France over twelve months. His home was at Cubbington, near Leamington, but between five and six years ago he took up work in the gardens of Dunsmore, and was employed there when war broke out. He was of a bright disposition, and was very popular with all whom he came in contact with.

IZAAK WALTONIAN’S SON BADLY WOUNDED.

Probably no member of the Isaak Walton Angling Association is better known, than Mr Fred Taylor, of 59 Abbey Street. Mr Taylor has two sons at the War, the elder of whom—Pte Wm Taylor, of the 6th Leicesters-has been severely wounded. He was shot through the arm and neck, and had his head badly hurt by shrapnel, his injuries including a broken jaw. He staggered some distance before being taken in hand by a member of the R.A.M.C, whose aid was very timely. Pte Taylor being much exhausted from loss of blood, and without prompt attention would probably have died. He is now in hospital in Surrey, where his parents have visited him. They found their son quite cheerful, in spite of numerous wounds, and he is reported to be making good progress towards recovery.

 

DUNCHURCH.

CORPL B PEARCE, of the Bedfords, one of the twin sons of Mr and Mrs Pearce, Coventry Road, has been made sergeant. He is the youngest soldier from Dunchurch who has attained that rank, and he has only been in the Army 18 months.

The people of this parish always take a great pride in the flower borders in front of their houses. Mr H Pearce and Mr W Busby have a fine lot of stocks ; and Mr J Cleaver, The Heath, makes a good show of all kinds of flowers not often seen at a cottage. Mr H Burrows, Mr F Stanton, and Mrs Burton, all of Mill Street, have excellent displays ; Mr Jennings bas a good show of stocks. The flowers on the front of the Dun Cow Hotel make quite an attractive display.

Second-Lieut J D Barnwell, of the R.W.R, second son of Mr W D Barnwell, farmer, who was wounded a short time ago in the foot, has had to have all the toes amputated. He is going on favourably.

DEATHS.

DEVONPORT.—In loving memory of Alfred William, Royal Garrison Artillery, who died of wounds, July 7, 1916 (in France), aged 28 years. Also Arthur John, 6th Leicestershire Regiment, killed in action, July 17, 1916 (in France), aged 22 years.—Beloved sons of Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Devenport, Napton Road, Southam.

DUNCUFF.—On August 3, 1916 (died of wounds in France), Arthur Francis, 6th Oxon and Bucks L.I., dearly beloved husband of Mildred G. Duncuff, Benn Street, aged 22 years.
“ Lord, ere I join the deadly strife,
And battles terrors dare ;
Fain would I render heart and life
To Thine Almighty care.
And when grim death in smoke wreaths robed
Comes thundering, o’er the scene,
What fear can reach a soldier’s heart
Whose trust in Thee has been.”

HOWKINS.—Killed in action on August 4th, in Egypt, Lieut. Maurice Howkins, West Riding R.H.A., elder son of Mr. and Mrs. William Howkins, of Hillmorton Grounds, Rugby ; aged 22 years. “ One of the brave boys, when shall their glory fade.”

ILIFF.—Killed in action, July 26th, Corpl. E. Iliff, Royal Warwicks, second and only surviving son of Mr. and Mrs. E. Iliff, Dunchurch.

LOVEROCK.-Died of wounds received in action, Second-Lieut, Harold George Loverock, second son of Lewis Loverock, of Greylands, Hillmorton Road, Rugby, aged 25.

SHAW.—Killed in action “ somewhere in France,” August 1, 1916, Pte. J. C. Shaw (Jack), 11th Batt. R.W.R., aged 26 years 11 months, the dearly beloved husband of Edith Annie Shaw (nee Harris).
“ We often sit and think of you,
And tenderly breathe your name ;
Nothing left of you to look at
But your photo in a frame.”

5th Dec 1914. News From The Front

Mr John Wicks, Long Itchington, of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, who signs himself “One of the Kaiser’s contemptible little army,” in a letter from the front to a friend, says :-“We are doing fairly well here for food, but the worst of it is we can’t get much sleep. It is like being in hell at times. When “ Jack Johnson’s ” are flying about it is like a big thunderstorm with vivid lightning. . . . It is shameful the way they (the Germans) treat some of the people here in the villages. We found one man, woman, and daughters tied up outside a house naked. It makes you feel mad with them.”

LETTER FROM LIEUT C HART.

Many Rugby people who have attended hospital fetes will remember with pleasure Staff-Sergt-Major Hart, who was in charge of the Lancers, whose displays were such a popular features of the holiday. Since the war Staff-Sergt-Major Hart has been promoted to the rank of Second Lieutenant. He has also been mentioned in dispatches. Mr C J Newman, secretary to the Children’s Ward Committee, received the following brief but characteristic letter from him a few days ago :-

“ DEAR MR NEWMAN,-Thanks ever so much for you kind and welcome letter. I am afraid we shall be unable to give you a display in Rugby for some time to come, but if you could make a pilgrimage out here there is no doubt you would see some much more interesting items than those performed by us at your fete. Nevertheless, I hope the time is not too for distant when some of us will have the pleasure of participating in much more peaceful pastimes than are at present available. We haven’t fared too badly. A few of the Rugby performers helped to pay the price of this war, but our heaviest losses are amongst the officers. We do very well indeed in the way of food, clothing, etc, which is a great blessing. I thank you very much for offer of cigarettes, which I will be very grateful for. I also thank you for congratulations, and I trust we shall meet again soon, when all is peaceful. Remember me to all old friends.-I remain, Yours sincerely, C Hart.”

EXTRACTS FROM A BILTON ARTILLERY-MANS DIARY.

Sergt Woolgar, of the 51st Battery, R.F.A, paid a flying visit to his wife (formerly Miss Rainbow), at Old Bilton last week, he having been granted five days’ leave of absence. Sergt Woolgar has been at the front from the commencement of the war, and participated in the Retreat from Mons, the Battle of of the Aisne, and the recent heavy fighting round Ypres, and naturally he has some exciting experiences to recount. Despite the fact that he has been in several hot corners and had more than one narrow escape, he has so far received no injury. A week or so ago his battery suffered severely, and they were withdrawn from the firing line and sent to a rest camp to refit, he being the lucky man from his battery to be allowed leave of absence. He returned to the front last Saturday. While he was at the front Sergt Woolgar kept a diary, which contains a number of interesting incidents, several of which we reproduce :—

August 23rd.—Ordered up to the assistance of the —–, who were at Mons. The Germans, dressed as civilians, shot down the —– (171 out of 1,126) from the windows. They had civilians in front of them waving handkerchiefs. Hard pushed at about 6.0 p.m, and went straight into action and entrenched. . . . The German scouts were very near to us on the night of 22nd 23rd August as near as 2½ miles, and we saw the village, which they had burnt, smouldering and in ruins, and the homeless villagers, as we went into action. . . . Very heartrending to see the little children and sick women being assisted along the road.

September 14th.—Marched at 7.0 a.m, and immediately went into action at —–. A terrible action ; our troops were simply mown down. Saw hundreds of German prisoners, and the village was full of dead and dying [Mention is made under this date of several British regiments which lost severely owing to the German abuse of the white flag.]

October 21st.-Moved off at 3.30 p.m as advance guard, and marched to the village of —–, where we came into action against the enemy. Fired l28 rounds per gun, and saw all the village on fire. We had rather a lively time. A Company of —– was properly wiped out in taking a large mill and building. Remained in action all day-22nd October. Up at day-break and started firing. Later on my gun was ordered “percussion,” and fired at 2,200 yards at a windmill, which was being used by the enemy as an observing station. Anyhow, we succeeded in hitting it eight times and smashed it up. . . Was congratulated on the good firing of my gun, and saw the mill in flames.

October 29th.-Revielle at 5.0 a.m, and opened fire to support infantry attack. About 8.30 a.m had a very close shave, a “ Black Maria ” burst under my wagon limber, and blew it up, setting fire to the ammunition, etc. In fact it got so warm that we had to leave our guns for a time.

November 1st.-Opened fire about 10 a.m, but got a very hot reception. In return was absolutely bombarded by the enemy’s big guns for about two hours.

November 2nd.-Had a narrow squeak in the night ; shelled all night. Had to move bed three times.

November 20th.-To-day was a very bad day for us. We were shelled all day, and had 17 killed and 19 wounded.

Some idea of the conditions under which the fighting has been conducted is contained in the following entry under October 18th :- Went straight to the guns for the fifth day in succession. Got clothes dry this morning. As yesterday it simply poured in torrents all day; no shelter. We were simply drowned rats and smothered in mud and gun grease. Stayed in action until dark then bivouacked. Had a night attack about 1.30, which was repulsed. Raining hard; wet through again.

HOME FROM THE WAR.

Rifleman Ernest Shaw, of the 1st King’s Royal Rifles, who was wounded in the fighting near Ypres, returned to his home at 6 Union Street, Rugby, early on Monday morning, after spending three weeks in a hospital at Belfast. As we reported in a previous issue, he was wounded in the cheek, the bullet penetrating just below the eye and passing out at the back of the neck, so that he really had a very narrow escape from death. Rifleman Shaw went out to the front at the commencement of the war, and had seen a fair amount of active service before he received his wound. He was in the open at the time he received a bullet coming from the direction of a house 200 yards away, from which Germans had been expelled, though obviously some of their marksmen had returned. The rifle fire became so persistent that the Englishmen deemed it expedient to retire from the locality. The sight of Pte Shaw’s right eye has been so affected by the wound that he cannot see distinctly with it, and although he is due to report himself at the depot on the 12th inst, he does not expect that he will ever be again fit for service at the front.

B.T.H MAN’S EXPERIENCES.

Pte H R Lee, of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, an employee of the B.T.H, has written from the front to his wife, and states :—We are just finishing our three days’ rest, after having five weeks in the trenches, in all that snow and rain. We have had to sleep and lie down in three inches of water, besides having to stand up in it all day long. One day, while we were in the trenches, I was boiling three fowls, and the Germans were sending “ Jack Johnson’s ” all round us, but they could not hit us. We took cover, but did not mean to miss having the fowls, so I and my two mates had a good dinner after all. The Germans are a dirty cowardly lot. Last week they shelled a town and set it on fire and killed 200 poor innocent women and children. How would English people got on if it was them. They (the Germans) run like mad when they see our bayonets. It is that that frightens them. I            have had one on my bayonet, and hope to have more before long. I don’t think it will last much longer.—Pte Lee mentioned that some cigarettes which his wife sent to him were spoilt through not being put in a tin, and added : “ I received a parcel from Miss —–, (a Rugby Lady) containing a pair of mitts, a bottle of meat lozenges, a tin of vaseline and four bars of chocolate.”

MADE COMFORTABLE AT THE FRONT.

Private W H Tidey, a shoeing-smith attached to the 5th Division, Army Corps in the Field, writing to Mr Hipwell at the Portland Cement Works, New Bilton, says :-“ Although the weather is horribly rotten out here, under no circumstances is one of us allowed to be uncomfortable. I am sure we find it more a pleasure to soldier under our officers. They all “muck in” with the rest. If any man gets into trouble out here, it is entirely his own fault. . . . As you say, things are going on fairly well, but we all hope that the Germans will see their folly in keeping up such a struggle. . . . I haven’t much time to write, for there’s plenty do out here in my line, especially since the snow and frost came, but the cold is better by far than the mud and slush we have bean staggering through lately.